I decided to put together a report for everyone who has asked about the recent ordeal.
I walked the dogs late in the evening, four weeks ago, because it was too hot for Robert in the afternoon. Gracie isn’t very used to the leash-thing yet so I was kind of preoccupied with her and continually unwrapping the two webbing leashes as we walked. About 4 blocks from our house, a dog that is always chained to its garage was loose and attacked me, Gracie and Robbie. We had no warning. we were just even with the lot line when he was on us. No sniffing, meeting, nothing.
Robbie fought him off but he just kept coming back at him again and again. I screamed until the neighbors gathered and one man was brave enough to drag the dog back to his chain and re-attach him. Rob’s front leg was bleeding and I was concerned about the dog getting loose again so I took another neighbor up on her offer to hide in her fenced yard so I could call Scott. He brought the truck and drove us directly to the Five Corners Veterinary Clinic. While we were waiting in the exam room, Rob started to shake and pant but as soon as I got him to lie down on the floor and curled around him, he stopped. By the time the tech came in to take his vitals, he was all normal. When I finally had time to look at the leg, I could see that the dog had bitten his leg down to the bone and took a chunk of skin and muscle off. I hate to think what would have happened if the neighbor hadn’t pulled him off since he just wouldn’t quit. Rob was trying to fend him off but was at a disadvantage with the leash and Gracie and me to worry about. Dr Chauvin, the vet, was wonderful with Rob, very gentle and thorough. He said the wound just missed a major artery but wasn’t sure whether Rob would lose the leg or lose the use of the leg. Then he said he’d have to sedate him to see what he could do and that we needed go home and wait for their call. I called 911 to make a report but the operator said I’d have to call animal control the next day.
Dr Chauvin called about 2 am and said Rob was cleaned and stitched up. He got to keep his leg but they weren’t sure whether he may have sustained nerve damage. The bandage extended to his toes and it didn’t take Rob long to figure out that he could get the bottom of the bandage off even with the cone around his neck. Once he got the bandage torn back to his wrist, he started using his paw normally and despite the drugs and our best efforts to keep him quiet, he was scampering around like nothing ever happened. I got through to animal control and the officer was very nice and helpful. He came over to meet Rob and to take my report. He then visited the other home and found grounds to impound the dog who was chained outside again.
At the 48 hour check the vet said his healing was much farther along than expected and also informed me that Rob had figured out where all treat jars are in the lab. He didn’t even seem to mind the cone and happily used it to herd me around the house. He also discovered very quickly that it served as extra armor from Gracie’s teeth! With constant vigilance, bandaging and the cone, we actually kept him from pulling out his stiches, something he’s had a lot of experience with due to two knee surgeries! By the four week mark, he is using the leg normally, his shaved off fur is beginning to cover the scar and you have to look closely to see that he has a rather deep “scooped out” area between his elbow and wrist.
He received a get well card from the staff at the Puyallup Library where he works as a therapy dog and when his scheduled day came, Scott suggested I take him in order to keep things as normal as possible. I put one of Scott’s dress socks over his bandage and warned the librarians that he might tire early. A boy with a cast on one arm came over specially to meet him and read to him.He was so thrilled to have the cone off and a little girl rubbing his neck that I think he would have stayed all afternoon. While he is recovering beautifully physically, we saw evidence of trauma when he and Gracie saw their first dog since the attack. They both went nuts and became quite agitated. So we’ll get them both into a class to re-socialize again. All in all, I feel like I can finally relax and announce, Rob is all better. Once again he has amazed me with his grace and his resilience.